Team India arrives in Pakistan
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Team India arrives in Pakistan

Security was tight and dozens of policemen and paramilitary troops were deployed at the Lahore airport.

india Updated: Jan 05, 2006 23:28 IST

The Indian cricket team arrived on Thursday for a seven-week long tour of Pakistan, where it will play three test matches and five limited-overs games.

Batsman Rahul Dravid is leading the Indian team, which will kick off its tour with a three-day warm-up game against Pakistan 'A' in the eastern city of Lahore starting on Saturday, before the first test begins on January 13 in the same city.

Security was tight and dozens of policemen and paramilitary troops were deployed at the Allama Iqbal International in Lahore.

Earlier, the Indian cricket team's departure from New Delhi was a low-key event, with hardly any enthusiasm seen at the airport.

The scenes at the airport on Thursday were in marked contrast to those witnessed when the Indian team set off for Pakistan in 2004.

A huge contingent of Indian Airlines staff, including former hockey captain Zafar Iqbal, who is secretary of the airlines' sports board, was present at the Indira Gandhi International airport to see off the Sourav Ganguly-led team in March 2004.

The Indian Airlines had put up a huge banner, which screamed 'Vijay Bhavah'. India defeated Pakistan 2-1 in the three-Test series and 3-2 in the five one-day internationals - both a first on Pakistani soil.

On Thursday, there was no banner and few autograph seekers as Delhi grappled with chilly winds and fog that delayed many flights.

The players even stayed back in their hotel rooms after a delay was announced for their flight PK 271.

First Published: Jan 05, 2006 22:16 IST